Jennie Nguyen has responded to her firing from 'Real Housewives of Salt Lake City' over past racist comments.
The former reality star was recently let go from Bravo's Real Housewives of Salt Lake City after old Facebook posts of hers resurfaced. The posts were from mid 2020, at the height of the Black Live Matter marches. They included, but were not limited to, (content warning) advocating violence against protestors and Islamophobic statements.
Once fans were made aware of the posts, they swiftly called for her to be removed from the show. Bravo complied, and Nguyen was fired from filming.
Now, Nguyen has finally spoken up about her recent controversy in an Instagram Live session. She claims,
"I'm big enough to understand that those posts are very insensitive to the point where it is disgusting, but I want you to understand that my political stance, I still support that."
She says she's "very proud" to be a Republican, and to have the freedom of speech to say what she believes. Nguyen wants everyone to understand that America is a country where "we have the freedom to speak online".
Freedom of speech is, of course, protected under the first amendment, meaning the government cannot arrest someone simply for words of theirs. It does not mean that private companies (Bravo, for example) are legally or morally barred from making business decisions (firing someone, if you will) based on politics. It also does not mean people, whether they be close friends or strangers, are not allowed to disagree.
Nguyen admitted that the black community faces more turmoil than "any other race on the planet". But with "that being said" went on to mention the she had friends whose businesses were "destroyed" during the protests. She claims to have "compassion for people that are suffering", yet would not expand that compassion to people who lost their lives.
She continued the live session, stating,
"I don't support the totality of Black people or with any race, but I do support my law enforcement."
While Nguyen doesn't feel comfortable morally supporting the beliefs of every single black person, she seems to have no trouble defending the "totality" of police officers, despite the abhorrent behavior of some.
Per the first amendment, making bigoted statements isn't illegal. Therefore, if we as a society wish to dissuade racism, consequences have to come in another form. A private person being fired for online comments might be considered an overreach---but Nguyen is a public figure. Her words and actions have impact, meaning the harm has to be addressed. Firing her holds her accountable, as well as sends a message about what behavior is and isn't tolerable.
Bravo has promised to make "better informed" and "more thoughtful" casting decisions in the future.
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